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Old May 5, 2004, 02:52 PM
chinaman chinaman is offline
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Default Making a lasting impression

Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore promised to make a permanent impression that Bangladesh was not an easy opponent to beat by battling hard against West Indies in the upcoming tour. The 15-member Bangladesh one-day squad is expected to leave the country today at 8:00am by British Airways for a 34-day long tour to the Caribbean. It will be the first ever West Indies tour for the Bangladesh National team, comprising two Tests and three one-days.

“It is a new mission and a new experience. I like to see a gradual improvement there and am keen to make an impression fighting the matches all the way,” said Whatmore to New Age after a short practice session and a shooting for a television theme song of the Bangladesh team. When asked whether after a thrilling victory against Zimbabwe Bangladesh was capable of beating another Test team, West Indies, Whatmore’s response was diplomatic.

“Any team can lose against Bangladesh and at the same time all matches are tough for us. So we have to be on the top of our game and that’s the objective,” replied the Sri Lankan-born Australian. Whatmore also recognised Brian Lara’s outstanding performance against England and said it will be a good test for Bangladeshis against an outstanding player. In addition, Whatmore made it clear that he was not afraid of what Lara had done during the historical innings, saying “No batsmen gets 400 runs everyday.”

Whatmore agreed with captain Habibul Bashar that West Indies did not have furious fast bowlers, like yesteryears, but warned his boys that some of the West Indian bowlers were developing quickly so it would not be trouble-free to play against them. Whatmore labelled left-hander Faisal Hossain as a player with potential, and said he liked working on players of hi sort.

“I am not ensuring that he will get a match in West Indies, it will be depend on the situation. However, I have to say he is a player I like to develop.”

Whatmore also said he did not work out his best eleven and neither did he decide on which pair to open the batting with, but assured that he had a couple of options in his hand. When asked whether he failed to find a combination in the team after his one year tenure, Whatmore said, as a struggling Test Nation, it is quite normal for that to happen, but once he does find the right combination it will definitely serve the team for a longer period. Whatmore also dismissed any questions about team discipline. “In every team of the world, some mishaps take place. I don’t think it is a very serious problem for us.”

Bangladesh team will play their first three one-days on May 15, 16 and 19 at St. Vincent. The first Test will be held on May 28 at St. Lucia while the final Test will take place on June 4 at Jamaica. The three Test players Javed Omar, Alamgir Kabir and Enamul Haque (Jr) are expected to join the team by the mid-May.

Bangladesh squad: Habibul Bashar (capt), Rajin Saleh, Hannan Sarkar, Shahariar Hossain, Mohammad Ashraful, Alok Kapali, Mushfiqur Rahman, Khaled Mahmud, Khaled Mashud (wk), Mohammad Rafique, Manjarul Islam, Faisal Hossain, Tapash Baisya, Tareq Aziz, Abdur Razzaq.

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Old May 5, 2004, 04:48 PM
chinaman chinaman is offline
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Default Whatmore backs Tigers

Nearly a year into his job and coach Dav Whatmore already has reasons to believe that his Tigers are ready to bite.

"On our day we are very much capable of upsetting any side in world cricket but at the same time it is never an easy task. However, the boys are fully motivated to fight all the way," said an unusually pumped Bangladesh coach after the West Indies bound squad's last practice session at the Bangaba-ndhu National Stadium yesterday.

The team leaves Dhaka today morning for their first ever official tour of the Caribbean where they play three one-day internationals and two Tests. Whatmore said the strong showing in Zimbabwe in their last trip was the base for his bold optimism. Still hurting from the 2-1 loss in the ODI series against Zimbabwe, the coach was adamant that the Tigers deserved to win.

"We were simply unlucky not to take the series. Still that one victory gave my team the belief that they were a capable lot. I have seen improvement across the board in the last tour.

'I am confident that we will make an impression the West Indies and show the world that Bangladesh are not easy opponents to beat. I would like to see gradual progress from them which will justify my views," said Whatmore. In order to counter the Windies on an even keel, Whatmore felt that the wise thing to do would be to think as little as possible about Brian Lara's world record score of 400 and their new look pace-attack.

"Our main objective is to play our own game and keep focus on individual improvement. Lara is a dangerous batsman and it is extremely difficult to get him out once he settles down. But it is also a fact that he won't be getting a hundred everyday," said Whatmore as he reminded that the master batsman's possible run-feast wasn't an automatic ticket to success.

"I will never mind if he made 600-odd runs like he did in Sri Lanka last time and his side still lost the series," quipped Whatmore. The Bangladesh coach believed that the West Indies were still on the lookout for quality fast bowlers who would continue the legacy of the likes of Joel Garner, Curtly Ambrose or Courtney Walsh.

"The West Indies attack is not as fearsome as it was once was but they are showing signs of developing quickly. Interestingly, they even depend on the slow bowler nowadays," he observed.

Whatmore did not give away much about the likely composition of the team despite his captain Habibul Bashar's interest in seeing Alok Kapali as an opener.

"I have a couple of options. We are trying to find a proper opening combination but everything will be decided once the series gets started. Actually I am still in the process of finding out the right people for a solid 13-member team and it is not an easy task. Once I sort them out, they will serve Bangladesh for a long time."

Whatmore also wasn't ready to grant southpaw Faisal Hossain a spot in the playing eleven straightaway but liked the in-form batsman's attitude.

"I always love to work with such players. But I can't give you an assurance on whether he will play a match or not."

The coach brushed aside the unfortunate incident involving ace left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique in Zimbabwe that saw him sent back home for breaching the players' code of conduct.

"That will not play on the minds of the players. Things like that happen all the time in a team environment. It's no big deal."

Whatmore also felt that the presence of chief selector Faruque Ahmed, who is travelling with the squad as operations manager, can only help in creating a good team.

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Old May 5, 2004, 05:04 PM
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Piranha Piranha is offline
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I notice a change in tone by Whatmore. Not only is he speaking with confidence, he actually seems to be confident about our men in the Caribbean! Thats can only be good for our team. Let hope our men can substantiate this view.
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